Doctor and patient confidentiality when the patient is the boss – FindLaw


WASHINGTON, DC - August 5: US President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference in the James Brady press room at the White House on August 5, 2020 in Washington, DC.  Trump administration officials and Democratic leaders in Congress continue to negotiate extended unemployment benefits and an additional economic stabilization and coronavirus relief package.  (Photo by Alex Wong / Getty Images)

The Hippocratic Oath requires physicians to keep patient information confidential.

But what happens when a patient facing a serious, and possibly life-threatening, medical condition is the President of the United States?

After President Donald Trump informed the world via Twitter on October 2 that he had COVID-19, information from his doctors about his condition was erratic and contradictory.

On the one hand, this is understandable. The Hippocratic oath states, “Whatever I see or hear in the lives of my patients … which is not to be spoken of abroad, I shall remain a secret.”

But the problem is the middle part, “which shouldn’t be talked about outside.” It is important to realize that a Hippocratic oath is a moral obligation, not a law. So, when the patient is the arguable leader of world freedom, doesn’t the public have a right to know what’s going on?

Impact of presidential medical disclosures

Over the past century or so, there is evidence that many presidents did not believe this. The public knew little about Woodrow Wilson’s stroke, Grover Cleveland’s cancer, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s paralysis, or JFK Addison’s disease.

Usually presidential administrations are eager to cover up troublesome medical developments because there can be negative repercussions. Other potential impacts include presidential health shocks The ability to send to the stock exchange collapsesWhich happened on October 2.

Three days later, however, the Dow had its best day since mid-July, ending its rally by 1.7%. In large part, at least, was the stock market rally on Monday because Trump began tweeting and announcing his intention to leave Walter Reed Hospital that evening.

There is nothing the stock market hates more than uncertainty, and the most recent example of this is the case of Trump contracting the COVID-19 virus.

The unpredictability of COVID-19

But are we really sure of Trump’s health? Although Trump tweeted, “I feel better than I did 20 years ago,” medical professionals warn that COVID-19 could have widely varying impacts on people, including the possibility that an infected person could take a quick turn. For the worse

It should be noted that this is what happened with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Johnson reportedly developed “mild” symptoms after being infected in late March, but after 11 days he required treatment in the hospital’s intensive care unit, where he stayed for a week. He later tweeted his thanks to the National Health Service, saying NHSYou saved my life, no doubtFor a day or two, he said, “It could have gone either way.”

Initially, Johnson enjoyed a political boom in the polls after leaving the hospital. However, as a Bloomberg News opinion writer Therese Raphael On October 3, it was noted that his public standing is declining and there are now concerns about the lingering effects of COVID-19: “(H) The behavior since his return has sometimes appeared to be calmer, his understanding of politics is weak and his rhetoric is less controlling.”

Cover up the president

At least at first, when we were told that Trump had “mild symptoms,” it looked a lot like Johnson’s experience, and a few hours later, the troubling news came that he would be airlifted to Walter Reed Hospital.

The next day, Trump doctors gathered outside Walter Reed for a news conference led by White House physician Dr. Sean Connelly, who The New York Times reported “made it look like the president went out for the weekend at a spa.”

After the briefing, however, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows gave a much less cheerful report, stating: “The president’s vital elements over the past 24 hours have been very disturbing and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care. We are still not on a clear path. Towards a full recovery. “

It turns out that Trump has a high temperature and needs extra oxygen. It was treated with a variety of measures, including steroids and experimental antibody therapy.

The next day, the medical team gave another briefing. While Conley provided more details, he said Remained elusive. He had confessed little about his sunny description of Trump’s health the day before, saying, “I was trying to reverse the optimistic stance taken by the team, the president, the course of his illness.”

Trump, his doctor, and ‘patient confidentiality’

Although presidents and their inner circles like to keep things medically silent, shouldn’t that reservation change once the cat is out of the bag? If so, then why aren’t Dr. Conley and his medical team providing clear information to the audience that wants it?

According to th The New York TimesBecause the concept of patient confidentiality between Trump and Dr. Conley is slightly different from the one you have with your doctor.

Trump isn’t just Dr.Connley’s patient. He is the chief of Dr. Conley. Connelly is a military doctor in the US Navy, and Trump is the commander in chief of the armed forces.

The Times reported that Trump, like most presidents, chose a military physician as his doctor because they are considered more trustworthy in protecting closely guarded medical information.

This means that if Dr. Conley did not follow the commander’s desires, he may have committed the insurrection, one of the most serious crimes committed by the military that could lead to disgraceful layoffs. Maybe he’d like to be more honest; But maybe he’s just following orders like a good soldier.

In other words, Dr. Conley faces a difficult task. He should follow the orders of his boss who is infamously demanding and Mercury while still trying to communicate his boss’s medical condition to the best of his ability.

It’s probably safe to say he’s not the first doctor to find himself in this position with a president. But there is one thing that sets it apart from others. All these other chiefs were their own circumstances and circumstances. With President Connelly, the disease is the same that has killed more than 210,000 Americans so far and threatens to kill more as winter approaches.

The American people are more than just curious or concerned about the president’s health. They have a personal interest in knowledge because they are at risk from the same virus that infected them. They want direct information – not bogus confirmations.

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